If you’ve ever driven up Dwight Way and merged onto Telegraph, or if you’ve walked across the corner, you probably have noticed the problem with the pedestrian crossing on the intersection. The “slip right turn”, in the language of traffic engineers, leads vehicles around the corner without being delayed at the stoplight for those continuing east or turning north. The problem is that traffic speeds around the corner to confront a concealed pedestrian crossing.
“I get more complaints about this intersection than about any other in my district,” said City councilmember Kriss Worthington. Worthington organized a small demonstration on the corner at noon today to bring attention to what he sees as a major hazard for pedestrians.
Worthington said he understands that a proper solution for the intersection might take time and money. He hopes to press the city’s transportation division to at least install a stop sign to reduce the danger to pedestrians. “A stop sign is very cheap,” Worthington said.
The Dwight/Telegraph intersection ranks 85th for action on the city’s Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted by the City Council in June last year. That plan, however, seems to concentrate on the more conventional crossings rather than the concealed slip turn.
“The slip right turn is a design which is very dangerous to pedestrians everywhere,” said Wendy Alfsen, executive director of California Walks. “If you’re driving, you’re accelerating around the turn before you see the crosswalk.”
Last year, the city’s health department reported that Berkeley was the most dangerous city of its size in the state for pedestrians and cyclists.